Caught on camera: Sao Paulo police shoots motorbike thief
This striking video illustrates the rampant crime problem in Brazil, as well as its police force’s take-no-prisoners response to it. The scene takes place in eastern Sao Paulo. A motorcycle rider with a camera attached to his helmet captures the moment he is stopped by a young man on a motorbike, who points a gun at his face.
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This striking video illustrates the rampant crime problem in Brazil, as well as its police force’s take-no-prisoners response to it. The scene takes place in eastern Sao Paulo. A motorcycle rider with a camera attached to his helmet captures the moment he is stopped by a young man on a motorbike, who points a gun at his face. He’s forced to hand over his motorcycle. However, the thief doesn’t get away. A policeman in regular clothes gets out of a car, and quickly shoots the thief twice. He crumples to the ground.
The video, which was published on the site Liveleaks, has been viewed more than a million times. We asked our Observers in Sao Paulo what they thought of it. Most of them praised the police officer for shooting the thief.
Renato Gomes :
Perhaps what the police officer did was not ideal, but it was the most appropriate response given the circumstances. After all, the thief could have shot him or the motorcyclist.
Jetro Falcao :
I’ve seen quite a few of these types of hold-ups. This is nothing out of the ordinary. I’m proud to see a policeman that’s brave enough to shoot a thief! Our justice system is too lenient with bandits like this! I am certain that 90 percent of Brazilians agree with me and would congratulate this police officer.
José Filardo-Xenon :
The police officer reacted well. He saw a crime unfold and, as a police officer, he couldn’t just pretend not to see it. Most police officers in Brazil prefer to look the other way when they’re not on duty.
Generally speaking, most Brazilians – including myself – are just as afraid of the police as we are of criminals. The police here prefer being feared to being loved. I think a lot of them have read Machiavelli…
In Brazil, investigations are carried out by the judiciary police and rely on heavy-handed interrogations and on people denouncing criminals, through a confidential hotline. The number of solved cases is very low, except when the victim is rich.
According to Brazilian media outlets, the thief, who was shot in the leg and the abdomen, is currently being treated at a local hospital.
Sao Paulo was ranked among the most dangerous cities in the world in the 2000s, but since then the situation has much improved. It now has a rate of 13 homicides per 100,000 people per year, compared to 50 just thirteen years ago.
Nevertheless, Brazilian police have been regularly criticized for their methods, in particular during these past few months, as they cracked down on widespread protests against a hike in transportation fees and the high cost of living. According to Amnesty International, the Brazilian police are responsible for about 200 deaths per year.
Post written with FRANCE 24 journalist François-Damien Bourgery (@FDBourgery).